Good Morning. Welcome to February’s Notable Quote second edition. Please enjoy and hope your special someone remembers Valentine’s Day, or if not, you were able to do something nice for yourself or others in your life.
As for me, I’m busy but doing well. I’m freelancing and doing a writer’s bootcamp on Facebook. It’s also a great place to have your worked critique if your serious writer, writing a short story or a novel. So far the bootcamp is extremely relevant and I love it. TheFacebook group is called: Writer’s World. You will need permission to join. Cheers!
Thanks to Teresa of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday Mix. Saturday’s prompt was to write pasturel poetry (Fiction/no fiction) which is essentially poetry written about nature in an idyllic way.
The beauty of my love is sweet, divinely prized.
Through fields of wildflower I follow her steps,
Her milk white skin, soft, supple; she knows best,
How tiny goat kids, and dog’s pups will thrive.
They bleet, whimper, for her hands petting coats,
Feeding them drops of milk reviving life’s hope.
So they wil live glorious in pastures kind;
Become adults frolic, following my queen.
The beauty of my love is sweet, divinely prized.
The beauty of my love is sweet, divinely prized,
She gathers the chickens eggs to feed,
Those who grace her kitchen with smiles pleased.
Finds the dairy cows, milks them all beguiling.
She’s a feminist, believes we never stop learning.
She chose to farm, grows organic food, serves —
Customers desiring; at market they find hers first;
My love works hard, adores our life, she’s pleased.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write, “an elevenie. An an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is.”
Alice was home from school. She hated boarding school, but she hadn’t had a choice. Her father had insisted his daughter have the best education a girl could have. This meant school was not merely academics as it was for boys. Her boarding school was an all girls boarding school and a great deal of focus was put into “the finishing school” aspect of education for women.
She needed to learn how to be a proper hostess and wife; those were the ideals of the Victorian woman. She needed to be the angel in the house, the moral compass of her household.
Alice spent countless classes based on the proper religion for an English girl. The God her school taught about, was an an angry God; judgemental and all powerful. He didn’t seem particularly forgiving. But she was told doing her duty as woman would make God happy.
Alice and her best friends Margaret and Prudence, often liked to cause trouble. They played tricks and sometimes skipped their more tedious classes. The girls were often punished with rulers smacking their hands soundly until they couldn’t feel them. Or writing lines of verses from The Bible until their fingers were too numb to write or days.
All in all, the school couldn’t punish Alice and her friends how the would’ve punished other girls. Her and her friends were daughters of enomoreous patrons of the girl’s school.
That being said, Alice was excited to go home for the summer. She thought fondly of her childhood, her dreams that always wandered to her childhood fantasy world Wonderland.
When the carriage dropped her off, Alice approached her home with a bit of trepidation. Her mother had been angry she had left flowers all over the headmasters office. The man had almost had a heart attack and Alice had laughed and laughed when she heard what he discovered. Bringing her suitcase with her, she opened the front door.
Suddenly, the house started to move in various directions from the front entrance. Staircases opened from every way, along with doors leading to God knows where.
Alice had a peculiar feeling, she was travelling back to her childhood world. Staircases continued to rumble and groan as they moved. Leaving her suitcase, Alice jumped onto a staircase leading to a familiar giant golden door knob with a large decorated keyhole underneath.
Suddenly, the door knob sneezed. “You again. I thought I’d seen the last of you.”
“Alice, yes? I remember. I had a cold last time you were here too; although, you’ve grown since then. Thinned out too, you were a bit fat for awhile, all that bread.”
She gasped, “Excuse me, the ideal woman these days, has a round body with childbearing hips, my teachers told me and my mother agrees. And you aren’t even real. I’m dreaming.”
“I wish the staircases would stop moving and the rest of the house weren’t so confusing. I have no idea where to go and I really was looking forward to a nap, ” Alice complained.
The giant door knob sneezed again. “No Alice, I know you and you know me. You know us all. It’s been a while and you’ve blocked us out. We tried to visit, but you convinced yourself we were all childhood dreams, despite having been to Wonderland twice.”
“You do play delightful tricks at school, I must say –you, Margaret, and Prudence. You should’ve brought them along . . . Then again, they wouldn’t believe Wonderland is real either. They don’t believe in magic, but you do. Oh, you deny it Alice but you do believe. You wouldn’t be back here if you didn’t,” the door knob lectured.
Alice stomped her foot, “You’re not real.”
“I am indeed, open me. Better yet, have some of that bread you like so much, in your left pocket first; it should do the trick.”
She gasped and frowned when she put her hand in her pocket and found the delicious bread. She nibbled on the edge. Alice hadn’t realized how hungry she was. She took a bigger bite of bread and sighed with pleasure.
“Not too much,” the door knob cautioned. She sniffed and raised her nose at him; she had shrunk in size considerably. Carefully, Alice turned the icky runny door knob nose, she needed no key. She stepped into another world; wiping her hands on her skirt, before gazing up in shock.
Alice truly was in the Wonderland of her youth. It appeared to be the same as she dreamt it to be. A path lay in front of her and she saw her body had become small. The grass and foliage around Alice was lush and towered over her.
She started to think of her old Wonderland friends when she came upon a catapillar on a large mushroom.”But you’re a butterfly now,” she said to the catapillar without thinking.
The catapiller sniffed at her and took a long drag from his hookah. “Whoareyou? Have you figured it out yet? Time does pass. My great-grandfather spoke of you. Time doesn’t move so fast here. He’s out flying about and I’m waiting until I can fly too. Why have you returned?”
Alice blinked rapidly. “I don’t know. I went through a doorway talked to a door knob, shrank, and now I’m here. It’s not a dream is it?”
The catapullar laughed, taking another drag. “I assure you. It’s all quite real. There’s a pathway going that way,” he pointed to his right. “You should go there. It leads somewhere important.”
“I see it’s a dock and we’re below it. It’s so large. Should I go below it in the sand? Or should I grow larger and go ontop of the dock. It’s quite big when you’re only six-inches tall.”
The catapillar laughed, inhaling his hookah promptly after . “There you go insulting those of us only six-inches tall again. Do you have bread in your pocket to grow taller?”
Alice searched in her right pocket, “No bread but I think the mushroom you are laying upon has one side which will make me larger. Alice ate of one side which made her shrink more, than climbed up the mushroom to eat off the other side. She grew until she was her normal size again.
“Curious and curiouser,” she said. “This is all too familiar. I hope there’s no seagull who thinks I’m a serphant ready to eat her young.”
“You can say that again,” the catapillar said smirking. He bowed his head as Alice walked off, having shoved a piece of mushroom in her right pocket for future use.
She walked ontop of the dock until there was nothing but a short stairwell leading to a row boat in the sea. She recalled this moment in her second journey to Wonderland. But there should be a sheep somewhere she reasoned.
On que a sheep appeared and they both rowed off into the sea, but it wasn’t really a sea. Alice thought it was more like a river. The sheep said: “Bahhh,” then smiled at Alice.”Hello Alice have you learned to feather yet?”
“Oh, that’s a rowing term. I understand now. Same with catching a crab. I was so young then, sheep. I reached for those rushes remember? They’re still look and smell lovely. You can never catch the most beautiful ones, they are free.”
The sheep bleated and sighed. “Do you ever think, Alice, that beauty is not meant to be tamed or kept?”
“It’s a curious question coming from a sheep. But I think beauty should be left to exist and shine. You’re saying I should leave the lovely smelling rushes alone?” Alice asked.
The sheep sighed again. “I’m not talking about rushes. You should pay attention Alice. That school you go to and those Victorian norms and rules of society, do you think they’re all correct? Do you believe everything you are taught without question?”
Alice wrinkled her forehead and thought. “No not really. My bestfriends don’t either. It’s why we play tricks, skip classes, it’s why I sit in class bored. I do not want to be a proper woman, a tamed or kept Victorian housewife with her brood of children. I don’t want to think God is always angry and mean; I think he’s benevolent too.”
“Ah, I didn’t think you agreed with your education. I think in the future things will be better, only wait and don’t grow-up too much. Don’t forget Wonderland –we’ll see you when you dream. We need your wildness, Alice.”The sheep bleated again and Alice instantly, woke up.
She was riding in a carriage to her house for summer vacation. She attempted to remember her dreams. Alice swore she dreamt of Wonderland vividly. But all she could remember was a sheep telling her to stay wild and untamed. She grinned thinking of the tricks she played at school. She wasn’t a tame women yet; never if she had her way.
And finally, our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I challenge you to write a sonnet. Traditionally, sonnets are 14-line poems, with ten syllables per line, written in iambs (i.e., with a meter in which an unstressed syllable is followed by one stressed syllable, and so on). There are several traditional rhyme schemes, including the Petrarchan, Spenserian, and Shakespearean sonnets. But beyond the strictures of form, sonnets usually pose a question of a sort, explore the ideas raised by the question, and then come to a conclusion. In a way, they are essays written in verse! This means you can write a “sonnet” that doesn’t have meet all of the traditional formal elements, but still functions as a mini-essay of a sort. The main point is to keep your poem tight, not rangy, and to use the shorter confines of the form to fuel the poem’s energy. As Wordsworth put it, in a very formal sonnet indeed, “Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room.” Happy writing!
Please see the website for NaPoWriMo for more information. Rhyme scheme is abab, cdcd, efef, gg.
When I was 17-years-old, my family moved out of our 850 square foot house (per level) because my family needed more space. My brother’s were big teenagers at 15-years-old and 13-years-old, we had a medium-sized dog named Nikki, plus my parents. The old house was too small to fit us all. Slowly, we packed up boxes, putting away books, trinkets, dishes, all items that held memories. The dog didn’t know what was going on but she remained in a confused hyper-alert state and came crashing through the room anytime a large item of furniture was moved. We moved everything ourselves, rented a big u-haul truck, and moved about 13 blocks closer to the River Valley into the house we live now.
Our old house was tiny. Even when we were little kids and I was 12-years-old it was small but my Dad had done a lot of work on our old house and I think it was a blow to each of us to see years later, the new owner had taken out the hedge that separated the garden from the lawn; sodded over the garden where we had grown every kind of vegetable — also these tiny but tart little strawberries; we saw that the new owner had taken down the deck and built a set of ugly steps up to the patio door; we saw he had chopped down the apple tree that we had grafted various kinds of green and red mouth-watering apple branches to; the new owner chopped down other trees in the front yard; and the little house that had never seemed a hovel to us, now looks like one because of him.
Inside the little house was a landing when you came in with steps going downstairs and short flight of steps going up to the kitchen. We had an oak table in the kitchen. There were oak kitchen cabinets and drawers against the far wall where half of the cupboards were oak and the other half were still the old 1940’s cupboards that were original to the house. My Dad had never finished that project.
Down a hallway from the kitchen was a peach bathroom Dad had redone when I was a little girl (smaller than 12-years-old) and a living room where we had ripped out the carpet to reveal a wooden floor. The living room had become the nicest room in the house with light green and gold sofas; a cream, green, and rose flowered carpet; and a runner of similar pattern to the carpet by the front door and closet. There was a piano in the living room that I hated. I hated to practice on it and hated it even more when my Dad started singing and practicing on the piano at 6:30 am on a Saturday for choir.
Down the hall were 2 bedrooms: the master bedroom painted light yellow where my parents slept, and a white room with a 90’s green carpet where my little brother slept. My brother’s room had a wide desk with 2 alcoves for seats and this desk covered the back wall. Both my brothers had been in that room at one time.
Downstairs was a small bathroom my Dad had built as well as laundry and a small pantry area to the left. Directly, in front of the stairs was my other brother’s bedroom that use to be my Dad’s office. It had grey carpet and white walls and was the perfect place for a boy who loved computers. To the left of that room was a playroom and TV room where we sat on old couches and watched tapes full of Disney movies that my Aunt had tapped off of TV.
And in the corner and to the left of that room was my bedroom. It was a room my Dad had built from a concrete storage area and when I was 8-years-old I moved down there and painted it a gorgeous bright light blue. This went with an ice blue carpet, a twin sized bed my dad had made with drawers when I was 4-years-old, a Barbie house, a dresser with a mirror, and too many spiders who visited too often.
When we drive by our old house now, we try not to look. It’s hard seeing what someone else did to your families hard work. I think my parents redid every room in that house at one time or another and if it didn’t look as nice in the end it’s because we were kids and kids are hard on houses and so are pets.
The backyard was the most beautiful area on our property. It was always covered in flowers and the garden full of wonderful vegetables like peas and carrots that the dog pigged out on. It’s nice to know where your food is coming from, that it is truly organic — even if it’s just for your dog’s sake. And my mom made jam, canned peaches, and frozen beans and peas. We had corn and other fresh produce in the summer, rhubarb, mint, dill, and tons of delicious apples that made so many crisps, pies, apple juice, and apple sauce.
But as Miranda Lambert sings ” [y] ou know they say you can’t go home again,” it’s the truth. That childhood home is no longer our home and only broken pieces of it remain in the yard and if I’m not mistaken, in the house. Still like Lambert’s song title, I believe ” it was the house that built me” and built my family into what we are today.